If anyone had not heard the news already, Jon Stewart is taking a 12-week break from hosting The Daily Show to make his directing debut and regular John Oliver is going to do the honors filling in for him during his absence. While I have enjoyed immensely Oliver's regular contributions to the show, I was not sure how he'd do hosting the show. After watching tonight, I think he did a great job.
Oliver started out the show sharing with the audience a letter Stewart had left for him where he told him "Don't worry, you'll be great" and "besides, no big news stories ever break out over the summer."
And then of course, within less than a day of Stewart being gone and Oliver filling in, we had this breaking news on the NSA leak. So much for those segments with the British jokes and tea time Oliver said he had planned.
Instead we were treated to this: The Daily Show’s John Oliver: NSA phone tracking ‘just the tip of the sh*tberg’:
“It turns out not only is the government tracking everyone’s phone calls, but that is just the tip of the shitberg,” he remarked.
Along with amassing telephone records, the NSA is also reportedly collecting emails and other online communications. In Oliver’s words, the government was monitoring “vastly more information than even George Orwell wet the bed over.”
The NSA revelations came about thanks to former CIA employee and current defense contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked a secret court order to Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald.
“So thanks to a bespectacled whistleblower we now know that the government has been actively collecting an unprecedented amount of information on that small select group of us who either make phone calls or use the Internet,” Oliver said. “I’ve got to say, I bet the Amish are feeling pretty fucking smug right now — or they would be feeling that way if they had any idea this story was happening.”
He also mocked National Intelligence director James Clapper for telling Congress the NSA was not collecting data from millions of Americans.
“Is it hot in here, or am I just lying?”